Chrysta Monique; Media Communication Graduate based out of Atlanta, GA spearheads the strategic oversight for SHEmovement as Chief Operations Officer. SHEmovement is an multi media outlet created by Mr. Chuck D of Public Enemy.
If you type in 'BGirl' in a YouTube search you'll find a plethora of ladies doing their thing on the floor. But in the early days of Hip Hop the only young lady you'd see on the floor was Ana Rokafella Garcia.
Hailing from Atlanta and North Carolina CREW GRRL ORDER has intended to make its mark on the HipHop resurgence of women with this homage to the First Lady Michelle Obama. The original theme produced by DJ Johnny JUICE Rosado and the REMIX by Eclectic Method as well as a very important video as well. 6 years of Obama this trio is ahead of the time stating that its never too late to pay R-E-S-P-E-C-T to something good and somebody great.
SHEmovment had a chance to sit down with the first ladies of Chuck D's SlamJamz Records, Crew Grrl Order. There is nothing but positivity coming from these three emcees. They embody all that SHEmovement will bring back to the world of Hip Hop and beyond.
Lady Payne: I am so proud of all of you ladies.
SM: Thank you. I am so proud of all of us and the fact that all of you are so pretty. I love you all's look individually and collectively.
CGO: Thank you very much. I think that's kinda what we were going for. We definitely wanted to represent every type of woman or more so that every woman is not the same. We are not a cookie cutter group.
SM: I would like to know how long you have known each other personally and when did the group start.
CGO: It has literally been forever. When we met it was like a family affair. You know how you aint seen your family in a long time and you like “Hey cousin Pete!” We just clicked from day one. Yeah we kinda grew up together but we didn't. We have known each other for forever so we just gone say 5 years lol.
SM: What was it like recording B-girl stance?
Lady Payn: That was recorded back in 2006? Oh my God, it was fantastic. Just bringing females together that each had their own individuality..women that didn't want to be like each other was very different at the time but we all vibed and got along so well.
Retina: It was really exciting to meet other female rappers (besides me and Cleo-we reside in Charlotte, NC) and when we go to the ATL and people were coming from all over and meeting other female rappers that had the same mentality I had, to me, it was so refreshing to have sisters who were avid supporters. That touched me. I was like, I'm gone be in Crew Girl Order forEVER because there was no competition, it's almost like we're sisters, and we were not all alike but we still got along. To this day, that has kept me going, 'CGO!'.
SM: Do you think the overall vision you all have to share has ever taken a toll on your exposure?
Cleo Jones: I don't think so. I think we have all had the opportunity to individually shine as well as collectively. I think (our message) also made it where it WAS given an opportunity with so many personalities in one group that anybody could really like the group. If you were in to consciousness, you would like the group. If you were into street music, you would like the group. If you were in to party music, you would like the group. So I think it is such a good blend that it gave us all an opportunity to have a platform to do what it is we love doing.
Payn: Well, who's to say we have to be mainstream to touch somebody's heart? All that we have accomplished in this industry is not null and void. Somebody was touched. Somebody went on with their career. Somebody was encouraged. Who's to say it was only a “little bit?” I think we were at the right place at the right time and see, God ain't finished with us yet. I loved the fact that God put these ladies in my path. I love the fact that we encourage each other and we encourage everyone we come in contact with but especially our youth.
Retina: I concur. I think we all considered ourselves the rapping Spice Girls. Like, it was a gimmick for them of course but they gave you everybody...Sporty, Posh...you kinda got a little we offer a little bit of everyone by us remaining individuals. But again, by us being so supportive of each other in all our endeavors, nothing ever had to be compromised to be with Crew Girl Order, that's what made it just work..that's what made it work.
SM: I truly enjoy the positive messages you share through your music and image. I don't think it will sink in as well with adults these days but our youth need to hear it. What are your current plans to get your message to our youth?
Payne: I go to high schools and middle schools to do motivational speaking and let them know they are powerful enough to do whatever it is they want to do but watch how you are perceived on the back end. I don't want to be perceived as a hoe. I don't want to be portrayed as that “baddest bitch.” I want to be perceived as a virtuous woman, a positive woman, and encouraging woman...cause guess what? I have children, I have nieces, I have nephews, I have people that are looking at me like my grandmother looking down from heaven at me so I'm not gonna that. We have to show and prove to these girls that you don't HAVE take your clothes off to be successful. We all plant seeds in our daily lives every opportunity we get. Cleo touches women through her clothes-she designs wedding dresses and owns her boutique. Retina is touching someone through her writing. I'm touching someone through my hands at my salon. And, we are letting these women know that you do not have to sell your soul to be what you want to be. We are very powerful (as women) and we help others realize we (women) are the power of this Earth-we were given to man and we are supposed to be treated like queens and if these girls don't know they are queens then they will put up with anything.
CHECK OUT CGO'S NEW MUSIC HERE!!!